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THE TIMES of the UK announces new Basil show!

I cannot seem to make a link to the online article, so I will reprint it here:

October 7, 2000:

My TV: Basil Brush
Times Newspapers Ltd 1998-2000

It's been nearly 40 years since Britain's most loveable fox made his television debut in 1963. Back then, his cheeky volpine antics regularly attracted audiences of more than 13 million to his Saturday evening show - the sort of ratings that Greg Dyke can only dream about today.

Basil Brush's catchphrase "Boom, Boom!" soon became a national habit. Now the ginger fox is staging a comeback in his own sitcom, Foxed, to be launched early next year. He plays himself as an English fox befriended by an American family who have moved to London.

Basil Brush, who has yet to be knighted but was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award this year by Loaded magazine, is a fox well aware of the price of such fame: "When the producers approached me, I had to ensure they appreciated my true standing as an international megastar. 'I'm not working for peanuts!' I said, so they offered me Jelly Babies . . . it was an offer I just could not refuse!"

Who are your biggest TV influences?

The greats of British comedy: Johnny Gielgud, Larry Olivier, Ralphy Richardson and not forgetting Brian the Snail (a natural performer, you should have heard him deliver a limerick - makes mi eyes water just thinking about 'em).

Foxes who have inspired you?

Brer Fox, Charles Fox, Edward Fox, Michael J. Fox. But not Sam Fox.

Your funniest TV moment?

All of them. But if I had to narrow it down it would have to be the episode of my old BBC show when that mouse ran up mi sleeve - you try ad-libbing with a rampant rodent nipping at your Jelly Babies. Never work with humans and animals, I say . . .

What can we expect from the new Basil Brush?

Who's he? Is some imposter using my name? I'll get 'im!

Have you aged much?

Not so much aged as matured, like fine wine. Or stinky cheese. I do like to think I've kept my youthful good looks - though I must confess to using a few beauty products - but I can assure you I use nothing that has been tested on humans . . .

What's your view of children's television today?

Standards were higher in my day. Have you heard the filth those Teletubbies spout? They're worse than the Sex Pistols.

What's your favourite show/advert?

Show: anything on the Fox network. Advert: Chicken Tonight.

Who's behind you?

My right-hand man - but that's another story. I'm working with a fine bunch of creatives from those family programme specialists Entertainment Rights. We're planning a new sitcom that features a suave, debonair, handsome fox living in Wimbledon - to be played by yours truly, of course.

What do you hate about TV?

I'm not on it enough.

How would you have fared on Big Brother?

I don't think I'd have done very well. In spite of the popular rumour, foxes just aren't that cunning.

NICK WYKE